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- verb: to lessen in intensity or degree
- In an hour or so the storm would abate and they could leave.
- noun: an expression of praise
- He does not praise his employees; silence is his highest accolade.
- noun: excessive praise; intense adoration
- But here in America, great accomplishments and pop-culture adulation walk hand in hand.
- adj: dealing with, appreciative of, or responsive to art or the beautiful
- The new browser is much more than an aesthetic overhaul.
- verb: to make better or more tolerable
- I'm very glad to see someone working to help ameliorate that situation.
- noun: one who practices rigid self-denial, esp. as an act of religious devotion
- He renounced his kingdom and embraced instead the path of the ascetic.
- noun: greed, esp. for wealth
- adj form: avaricious
- Usually, politics is about the avarice of one person or group in conflict .
- noun: a universally recognized principle
- adj form: axiomatic
- Another axiom of science is dispassionate observation.
- verb: to grow rapidly or florish
- Expect the black market to burgeon again.
- adj: rustic and pastoral; characteristic of rural areas and their inhabitants
- It's true that I had a bucolic, truly peaceful childhood, growing up in a house next to our family's orchard.
- noun: harsh, jarring, discordant sound; dissonance
- adj form: cacophonous
- Some worry that such changes will invite a cacophony of contentious discussion.
- noun: an established set of principles or code of laws, often religious in nature
- adj form: canonical
- In the ancient canon of the Roman mass, he is ranked among the martyrs
- noun: a substance that accelerates the rate of a chemical reaction without itself changing; a person or thing that causes change
- The bombing attack was the catalyst for war.
- adj: burning or stinging; causing corrosion
- a caustic cleaner
- adj: wary; cautious; sparing
- most people are chary of allowing themselves to be photographed
- adj: appealing forcibly to the mind or reason; convincing
- The judge rejected that argument in a cogent and wholly convincing judgment.
- noun: the willingness to comply with the wishes of others
- adj form: complaisant
- A rebellion of public opinion against such complaisance is possible but not certain.
- adj: argumentative; quarrelsome; causing controversy or disagreement
- a contentious issue
- adj: regretful; penitent; seeking forgiveness
- noun form: contrition
- a broken and a contrite heart
- adj: deserving blame
- noun form: culpability
- sometimes you’re just as culpable when you watch something as when you actually participate
- noun: smallness of quantity or number; scarcity; a lack
- there is a dearth of evidence
- verb: to question or oppose
- normally she would have accepted the challenge, but she demurred
- adj: intended to teach or instruct
- a didactic novel that set out to expose social injustice
- noun: cautious reserve in speech; ability to make responsible decisions
- adj form: discreet
- she knew she could rely on his discretion
- adj: free of bias or self-interested; impartial
- a banker is under an obligation to give disinterested advice
- adj: expressing a rigid opinion based on unproved or improvable principles
- noun form: dogma
- he gives his opinion without trying to be dogmatic
- noun: the quality of lively or enthusiastic expression of thoughts and feelings
- adj form: ebullient
- the ebullience of happy children
- adj: composed of elements drawn from various sources
- her musical tastes are eclectic
- noun: a mournful poem, esp. one lamenting the dead
- adj form: elegiac
- As a result, modern elegies more often than not break with the decorum of earlier modes of mourning and become melancholic, self-centered, or mocking.
- adj/noun: soothing, esp. to the skin; making less harsh; mollifying; an agent that softens or smoothes the skin
- an emollient cream
- adj: based on observation or experiment
- Our data is based on empirical evidence collected in numerous studies.
- adj: mysterious; obscure; difficult to understand
- noun form: enigma
- After I did a little research, the subject of metaphysics was no longer so enigmatic to me.
- adj: brief, fleeting
- Because of her ephemeral memory, she forgets things all the time!
- adj: intended for or understood by a small, specific group
- The medical research was so esoteric that only a few physicians could actually understand the results.
- noun: a speech honoring the dead
- verb form: eulogize
- he delivered a moving eulogy at his father's funeral
- verb: to remove blame
- The job of the defense attorney is to exonerate his clients and keep them out of jail.
- adj: playful; humorous
- Do you always have to be so facetious?
- noun: an invalid or incorrect notion; a mistaken belief
- adj form: fallacious
- Having money makes you happy is a fallacy because happiness has nothing to do with wealth.
- adj: marked by stealth; covert; surreptitious
- Students who cheat on tests employ their furtive tactics to avoid getting caught.
- adj: sociable; outgoing; enjoying the company of other people
- If you want to be more approachable, show a gregarious smile.
- verb/noun: to deliver a pompous speech or tirade; a long, pompous speech
- As usual, the priest made his usual harangue about the dangers of listening to rap music.
- adj: violating accepted dogma or convention
- noun form: heresy
- men holding heretical opinions were condemned to the stake, women to be buried alive.
- noun: an exaggerated statement, often used as a figure of speech
- adj form: hyperbolic
- Because Janice was a drama queen, she used a hyperbole in practically every sentence.
- adj: lacking funds; without money
- The sorry appearance of the unpaid letter suggested the impecunious condition of its author.
- adj: beginning to come into being or to become apparent
- The best way to stop the disease from spreading is by identifying it while it is incipient.
- adj: unmoving; lethargic; sluggish
- Nitrogen is a very inert gas: it will neither burn nor support the combustion of ordinary combustibles.
- adj: harmless; causing no damage
- Because the virus was innocuous, the hospital staff had no need to worry about the leak.
- adj: refusing to compromise
- noun form: intransigence
- When it comes to the safety of my children, I must always take an intransigent position to protect them.
- verb: to obtain by deception or flattery
- Their testimony confirmed the defendant's successful efforts to inveigle them into investing in the hedge fund.
- adj: sad; sullen; melancholy
- When her dog died, the little girl was morose for months.
- adj: evoking intense aversion or dislike
- Cleaning the toilet is such an odious task.
- adj: impenetrable by light; not reflecting light
- As Larry is an experienced liar, his stories are always quite opaque.
- noun: the act or state of swinging back and forth with a steady, uninterrupted rhythm
- verb form: oscillate
- He observed a small clockwise motion of the pendulum's apparent plane of oscillation.
- adj: penny-pinching; excessively thrifty; ungenerous
- Penurious behavior isn't confined to hosts these days.
- adj: extremely harmful; potentially causing death
- If you are going to behave in such a pernicious manner, I would prefer to not be around you.
- verb: to examine with great care
- noun form: perusal
- Peruse the manual to set up your television.
- adj: extremely reverent or devout; showing strong religious devotion
- noun form: piety
- The students running around naked at Berkley Catholic University do not seem very pious.
- noun: one that precedes and indicates or announces another
- All too often, high blood pressure is a precursor of heart disease.
- verb: to dress up; to primp; to groom oneself with elaborate care
- The kiwi's distinctive scent comes from the wax it secretes to preen its feathers.
- adj: abundant in size, force, or extent; extraordinary
- After overindulging in a prodigious meal, I really needed a nap.
- adj: producing large volumes or amounts; productive
- The prolific chemical reaction produced a lot of carbon monoxide.
- verb: to rot; to decay and give off a foul odor
- adj form: putrid
- Dead bodies quickly putrefy and so become a health hazard to the living.
- verb: to drink deeply
- a man in a dinner suit quaffing champagne
- noun: stillness; motionlessness; quality of being at rest
- adj form: quiescent
- South could draw several inferences from the opponents' quiescence.
- adj: awe-inspiring; worthy of honor
- The revolt speedily collapsed before this redoubtable commander, and Alem and the other leaders surrendered.
- noun/verb: authoritative permission or approval; a penalty intended to enforce compliance; to give permission or authority
- Imposition of sanctions against Iraq.
- noun: a literary work that ridicules or criticizes a human vice through humor or derision
- adj form: satirical
- Its impossible to watch any kind of western satire with her.
- adj: sordid; wretched and dirty as from neglect
- noun form: squalor
- The urban poor often lived and worked in squalid and dangerous conditions.
- adj: indifferent to or unaffected by pleasure or pain; steadfast
- noun form: stoicism
- That night it's obvious to Jake that Skeet, usually stoic, is deeply upset.
- verb: to take the place of; to supersede
- Nintendo tried to supplant personal computers?
- adj: lethargic; sluggish; dormant
- noun form: torpor
- They usually sit in little tents, and make holes in the ice from which they capture torpid fish.
- adj: existing everywhere at the same time; constantly encountered; widespread
- Personal computers have become ubiquitous in rich countries.
- adj: sophisticated; refined; elegant
- noun form: urbanity
- He was a good insurance broker: urbane and vigorous, and he could sell.
- verb: to defame; to characterize harshly
- People tend to vilify gambling as the root of all evil.
- adj: thick; sticky
- noun form: viscosity
- The resulting paste forms a wet, viscous brown dough.